It’s hard to disconnect in the winter. Sure, you could still go camping… but s’mores just don’t taste as good when the temperature is below freezing.
Thankfully a snowbound tent isn’t your only option. The Colorado mountains are littered with yurts, huts, and cabins that provide shelter from the elements without the distractions of modern life. Here are three of our favorites.
Hidden Treasure Yurts
These rustic yurts aren’t recommended for first-time backcountry travelers—located about 16 miles south of Eagle on I-70, just getting to them requires a 6.2-mile trek with about 3,200 feet of elevation gain.
All that climbing has a purpose, though. The huts are perched on the side of New York Mountain at about 11,200 feet, so the views from their decks are phenomenal. They’re also stocked with stoves (wood burning and propane) and are surrounded by outstanding snowshoeing trails.
If you go: Yurt rental costs $200 per night or $250 per night on the weekends, and a 2 night minimum stay is required for trips that include Friday or Saturday. Each hut has beds for 8 people, but visitors should bring warm sleeping bags. Booking details are available online.
Photo courtesy Hidden Treasure Yurts.
Never Summer Nordic Huts
Few places in Colorado offer as much privacy for as little hiking as the Never Summer Nordic Huts. Tucked away in the Medicine Bow Mountains west of Fort Collins, the huts are approached by hikes as short as half a mile.
Never Summer operates almost a dozen huts and yurts, each of which can hold 5–9 people and is equipped with a propane cook stove. We’re partial to the Clark Peak Yurt, which is nestled in the trees below the cirque of Jewel Lake. All of the yurts boast snowshoeing access to nearby State Forest State Park.
If you go: Weekday rates for most Never Summer huts and yurts costs $90, while weekends run $110. Be sure to book online in advance.
Photo by Lingyu Xie.
Tennessee Pass Sleep Yurts
These yurts have room service. We repeat—you can get chef-prepared buffalo meatloaf delivered right to your handcrafted log bed. And this is right after your baggage and beverages are transported to the yurt before your arrival.
Located just 9 miles west of Leadville, these four yurts are accessed by a one-mile hike with about 300 feet of elevation gain. Each is fitted with full linens (including down comforters), fresh drinking water, a kitchenette, and complimentary coffee and hot cocoa. Gourmet dinner is served at the nearby Cookhouse yurt.
If you go: Yurts cost $225/night and sleep up to 6 guests. Advance online reservations are required. Since the yurts are part of a property that houses a nordic facility, we recommend nordic skiing on the 27 km of trails or snowshoeing on the 8 miles of snowshoeing trails on the property. There are equipment deals for yurt guests.
Photo by Tim Gormley.